The Church of Scientology may be getting its own 24-hour cable channel by the summer of 2017.
Several media outlets are reporting after a brutal year of public relations headlined by former member Leah Remini’s harsh depiction of the church in her Scientology and the Aftermath docuseries on A&E, Scientology Media Productions could be headed to Time Warner Cable, now known as Spectrum.
Scientology expert Tony Ortega recently shared the church already has a channel guide that highlights the network’s upcoming programming. In addition, at a recent birthday celebration for deceased church founder L. Ron Hubbard, current leader David Miscavige is said to have formally shared the news with parishioners.
Sources claim among the programming that will be featured is footage by Freedom magazine, at least nine hours of biographical episodes on Hubbard, a “Meet a Scientologist” series and videos about the church’s “Fourth Dynamic Campaigns.”
Besides Remini’s series, the church has also recently been forced to endure such unflattering depictions as Alex Gibney’s 2015 HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and Prison of Belief, each of which describes the church as a suspect religion that attempts to ruin the lives of those who try to leave the church or criticize it, with leader Miscavige at times even turning to physical abuse.
The Church opened its own TV studio last year in Los Angeles that Miscavige later described as “our uncorrupted communication line to the billions.”
Miscavige later justified the move by sharing “if you don’t write your own story, someone else will. So, yes, we’re now going to be writing our story like no other religion in history. And it’s all going to happen right here from Scientology Media Productions.”
Meanwhile, church members bitterly reacted to recent news that A&E had renewed Remini’s series for another season.
The former King of Queens star announced she was leaving the religion she has known her whole life about four years ago.
“It became clear to us that although we were telling painful stories of former members of the Church of Scientology, this show was resonating strongly with people everywhere,” she said after network officials announced plans for a second season. “The show is really about standing up for what is right and not letting bullies have their way. I feel it is important for people to know that you can take action to bring about change, both for yourself and for others.”
Over its first season, the critically acclaimed show averaged about 3 million viewers an episode.
Scientology officials have responded to its success by accusing Remini of falsely representing the church and network officials of paying her sources to tell their untruths on the show.
“Real transparency would be for A&E to detail all forms of compensation made to sources spreading religious hate and bigotry on Leah Remini’s show,” a Scientology rep said in a recent statement. “When the network cancelled ‘Generation KKK,’ the network claimed that paying sources violated company policies. Yet at the same time it was hypocritically compensating Remini’s sources with money and significant in-kind payments. A&E can’t have it both ways.”
Meanwhile, the first season of the show has already sparked more than just controversy. The LAPD recently launched an investigation into claims made by three women alleging That ’70s Show star and longtime church member Danny Masterson once sexually abused them.
Prior to going to the police, each of the women is rumored to have met with Remini, who encouraged them to meet with authorities and tell their story. Masterson has staunchly denied all the allegations, and a rep for the actor recently blamed Remini for all his troubles
Spectrum is part of Charter Communications, the second-largest cable provider in the U.S.
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